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North American A-36A Apache

A view of the North American A-36A Apache before restoration crews at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force moved the aircraft into the WWII Gallery on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft on display were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

A view of the North American A-36A Apache before restoration crews at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force moved the aircraft into the WWII Gallery on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft on display were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Museum restoration crews prepare to move the North American A-36A Apache back into the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Museum restoration crews prepare to move the North American A-36A Apache back into the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Roger Brigner, a museum restoration specialist at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, moves the North American A-36A Apache back toward the WWII Gallery on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Roger Brigner, a museum restoration specialist at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, moves the North American A-36A Apache back toward the WWII Gallery on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Roger Brigner, a museum restoration specialist at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, moves the North American A-36A Apache back toward the WWII Gallery on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Roger Brigner, a museum restoration specialist at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, moves the North American A-36A Apache back toward the WWII Gallery on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

A view of the North American A-36A Apache before restoration crews at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force moved the aircraft into the WWII Gallery on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft on display were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

A view of the North American A-36A Apache before restoration crews at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force moved the aircraft into the WWII Gallery on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft on display were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Museum restoration crews move the North American A-36A Apache back into the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Museum restoration crews move the North American A-36A Apache back into the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Museum restoration crews move the North American A-36A Apache back into the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Museum restoration crews move the North American A-36A Apache back into the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Aug. 13, 2018. Several WWII era aircraft were temporarily placed throughout the museum to provide adequate space for the Memphis Belle exhibit opening events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- North American A-36A Apache in the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- North American A-36A Apache in the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- North American A-36A Apache at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- North American A-36A Apache at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- North American A-36A Apache at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- North American A-36A Apache at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- North American A-36A cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- North American A-36A cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Also nicknamed the "Apache” or “Invader," the A-36A dive bomber was the first US Army Air Forces version of the Mustang, officially developed for Britain in 1940. The first A-36 flew in September 1942, and North American Aviation completed production of 500 A-36As in March 1943.

 


Assigned to the 27th and 86th Bombardment Groups (Dive), the A-36A first saw action over the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria in June 1943. During the Italian campaign, A-36A pilots flew bomber escort and strafing missions as well as ground support bombing attacks.  A-36As also served with the 311th Fighter-Bomber Group in India.  In 1944, bomb rack equipped P-51s and P-47s replaced the A-36A when experience showed that these high-altitude fighters were more suitable for low-level missions than the A-36As.


The Museum’s A-36A was donated by Charles P. Doyle of Rosemount, Minnesota and was restored by members of the Minnesota Air National Guard.  It is marked to represent the A-36A flown by Capt Lawrence Dye, a pilot of the 522nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron, during combat in North Africa and Italy.



TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament: Six .50-cal. machine guns; 1,000 lbs of bombs externally
Engine: Allison V-1710 of 1,325 hp
Maximum speed: 365 mph
Cruising speed: 250 mph
Range: 550 miles
Ceiling: 25,100 ft.
Span: 37 ft.
Length: 32 ft. 3 in.
Height: 12 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 10,000 lbs. loaded
Serial number: 42-83665

 

 

 

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